Katy Perry Gives Hilarious, Heartfelt Speech At Human Rights Campaign Gala: Watch
Katy Perry was recognized by gay rights lobbying group Human Rights Campaign on Saturday, March 18, during its 2017 Human Rights Commission Gala. She received the National Equality Award, its highest honor, for her advocacy work.
During her acceptance speech, she explained how, as a daughter of two evangelical Christian ministers, she went on to sing songs like “I Kissed a Girl.”
“My first words were ‘mama’ and ‘dada,’ ‘God’ and ‘Satan.'” When I was growing up, ‘homosexuality’ was synonymous with the word ‘abomination.’ And hell, a place of gnashing of teeth, continuous burning of skin and probably [U.S. Vice President] Mike Pence’s ultimate guest list for a barbecue. No way. No way! I wanted the pearly gates and the unlimited fro-yo toppings. So most of my unconscious adolescence, I prayed the gay away at my Jesus camps.
“But then in the middle of it all, in a twist of events, I found my gift. And my gift introduced me to people outside my bubble. And my bubble started to burst. These people were nothing like I had been taught to fear. They were the most free, strong, kind and inclusive people I have ever met. These people are actually magic, and they are magic because they are living their truth. Oh my goddess, what a revelation — and not the last chapter of the Bible.”
Katy also explained how she went on to live her own truth. “‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ Truth be told, a) I did more than that. But b), how was I going to reconcile that with a gospel-singing girl raised in youth groups that were pro-conversion camps? … I haven’t always gotten it right. But in 2008, when that song came out, I knew that I started a conversation that a lot of the world seemed curious enough to sing along to.”
The “Chained to the Rhythm” singer got teary when she dedicated her award to longtime manager Bradford Cobb. Watch the speech, starting at the 35-minute mark, below.